New Video: The Myth of the Mini Ice Age

May 15, 2018

Not the first time I’ve had to shoot down this nonsense, probably not the last.

The internet’s perverse algorithms select for “man bites dog” stories, which explains why every yahoo with a “global cooling”, “imminent ice age” video gets pushed to the front of the queue.

This includes a spate of stories after a recent study of solar cycles.  Naturally, I talked to the author.


18 Responses to “New Video: The Myth of the Mini Ice Age”

  1. grindupbaker Says:

    NOAA ORAP5 analysis plot indicates January 2015 – September 2016 ecosphere lost 50 zettajoules net to space (big El Nino), September 2016 – December 31, 2017 ecosphere gained 51 zettajoules. 50 zettajoules is what it would take to melt a sheet of ice 1.0m thick covering all land on Earth and warm it to 26 degrees (79 Fahrenheit). The land surface bit gets kicked around so it’s the fun bit for infotainment.

  2. pendantry Says:

    Shame on you, Peter. According to the Debunking Handbook, starting with the myth is asking for trouble.

    Otherwise: excellent video. Short and sweet.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      you make a good point, it’s called the “back fire effect” – but there is a modifier .. stating a problem in a less virulent form, in this case, an obviously erroneous Heartland fool opining in 2009, – is a way to ‘inoculate” against the particular meme.
      John Cook has some research that confirms this.

      • pendantry Says:

        Oh, good — I’m glad you were able to prove me wrong, I have a lot of faith in what you do 🙂

      • J4Zonian Says:

        I’m with you, Peter, but nothing is obviously erroneous now. Everything must be assumed debatable and then debated. The color of the sky and the direction of the ground are up for debate now if the lunatic right wing decides it’s in their tribal interest to dispute it. The research on everything connected to this is not voluminous enough to be certain, and is often open to wiggles and worming. “Inoculation” is iffy; exactly how it works and when is not as sciency as physics and chemistry. Better, I think, to assume there’s someone reading who’s more than stupid enough or over-propagandized enough to believe the inoculation rather than the truth. And then inoculation becomes a gateway drug.

  3. Keith McClary Says:

    If I douse myself with ice water on a Summer morning I will be just as hot in the afternoon.

    I don’t think it is accurate to say that the ice “slows down” my warming or even “delays” it. What would be a correct way of describing this?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Maybe by talking about your average temperature over a longer period? The ice water may cool you down for a while, but what matters is the long term trend during the day.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      “If I douse myself with ice water on a Summer morning I will be just as hot in the afternoon.”

      Forgive me, but that’s a poor analogy. Endotherms adapt their metabolism to maintain a temperature. The planet isn’t evolved to maintain a temperature, and the feedbacks are just unadaptive physical processes.

      • J4Zonian Says:

        On the contrary, there’s considerable evidence that the Earth does maintain life-preserving conditions. Despite the variations, salt content of oceans, concentrations of atmospheric gases, and yes, temperature, are all regulated by life and the lithosphere. Besides James Lovelock’s books on Gaia, an excellent and more detailed scientific look at it is Gaia’s Body: Toward a Physiology of Earth by Tyler Volk. I think the proceedings of at least one conference on the subject are available on the net.

  4. redskylite Says:

    I remember a very similar conclusion from the University of Reading, 5 years ago. Prof. Mike Lockwood stating that the build up of CO2 would negate the effects of a Maunder minimum. Watts-Up-With-That reported the story, but failed to include the “global warming” override. The same story keeps repeating and it is worth refuting it.

    Not only does the ghg build up negate maunder minimums, it will most likely negate eclipse variations that caused ice ages in the past. Those vibrating molecules may be miniscule to view, but so omnipotent en masse.

    “The study reveals nothing very significant about the effect of long-term astronomical influences on climate change today. Right now Earth’s orbit is near to a circle. In the absence of human interference, Earth should be nearing the end of a long-term warming trend and, according to the astronomical clockwork, should be heading for another Ice Age. Professor Kent is not so sure.”

    “Could happen. Guess we could wait around and see,” he says. “On the other hand all the carbon dioxide we’re pouring into the air right now is the obvious big enchilada. That’s having an effect right now. The planetary cycle is a little more subtle.” – Climate News Network

    • redskylite Says:

      oops sorry – substitute orbital/tilt variations for eclipse variations

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      People who focus on the insolation aspect of temperature miss the other problem with high CO2 levels in the atmosphere: If the planet *does* cool from a solar minimum or a “perfect Mt. Pinatubo”, it would only accelerate the absorption into the ocean, meaning faster acidification.

  5. Abel Adamski Says:

    And for an inspirational story about an inspirational person down under – caution concerns Religion and the ecosphere and climate change

    Di Rayson, PhD runs theology and climate change conference at University of Newcastle

    “It’s a real honour to be awarded a PhD because it recognises that you’ve contributed original knowledge and it also acknowledges the amount of research and work that you’ve done to be awarded that,” Di says.

    “The thesis doesn’t get the degree, it’s the person, and that’s because you become a researcher, and you become an expert in your field. To think that you’ve crossed over that line is really quite humbling. And it’s great!” she laughs again.

    To complete the degree Di undertook three years of rigorous research and writing. Her two-year studies for her Masters in Theology contributed to the PhD research.

    To think that you’ve crossed over that line is really quite humbling.
    Dianne Rayson, PhD

    Di’s thesis is titled Bonhoeffer’s Theology and Anthropogenic Climate Change: In Search of an Ecoethic.

    “It’s about how from a religious point of view we understand what’s happening with climate change and what we should do about it, so developing an ecoethic,” Di explains.

    • Abel Adamski Says:

      “For regular people who don’t really think very much about it, it’s hard for them to understand it from a theological point of view. But there’s actually quite a lot of resources within Christianity, and the other major faiths as well, to help us understand what’s going on and why we should be thinking about what action to actually take to deal with it.

      “Within Christianity there’s been a long tradition of thinking about our relationship with the earth. And I actually usually don’t use the term ‘the earth’ when I’m talking about this, I usually just say ‘Earth’ with a capital ‘E’ to acknowledge that the earth has agency and is one of the created beings alongside the animals and the plants and the humans.

      “So when we’re thinking about our relationship, I don’t think only about relationships with people, but what Christianity has to say about our relationships with all of creation, so with the animals, the plants and with Earth herself.”
      Putting her thesis to work

      While writing a thesis for a doctorate degree is one of the most intellectual tasks a person can undertake, Di is not content to let it rest at that.

      She, along with a committee of like minded people, have created the Inspiracy Festival, a four-day festival in Newcastle that is running for it’s second year this coming weekend, Thursday May 17 to Sunday May 20.

      The festival starts with a Youth Film Festival on the Thursday night, and continues on the Friday with Di’s part of the Inspiracy program, ‘The Sacred Earth – Conversations in Ecotheology’. Saturday and Sunday’s programs are full of workshops to entice festival goers.

      “I’m running Sacred Earth, which is an ecotheology conference but it’s trying to think about climate change and respond to climate change, not just intellectually but also through the arts and through activism,” Di said.

      It’s trying to think about climate change and respond to climate change, not just intellectually but also through the arts and through activism.
      Di Rayson

      “Over the weekend we’ve got a whole range of activities to do with the other parts of our brain so a lot of music and food and workshops on how to do things – how to create community gardens, using poetry as a form of activism, just a whole range of stuff. Even just chilling out with music and chants, and participating in different choral activities.

      “The idea is to try and engage people on all levels. Some people are really intellectual and think about this stuff, but other people engage with ideas through music, or through poetry, or through hands-on doing stuff,” Di says.

      “We’re trying to say that all of these approaches are valid and are really valuable in trying to deal with the the bigger issue of climate change and climate justice, so we’re trying to meet people at whatever really interests them. wherever their passion is.”

      For more information on the Inspiracy Festival visit

      On a more local level, Di is keen to work with local churches and is available for preaching.

  6. Sir Charles Says:

    Some “ice age” indeed…

    And here the real “ice age”…

  7. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    “The internet’s perverse algorithms select for “man bites dog” stories”

    Of course that predates the Internet, as it a newspaper saying.

    I have a goofy fantasy that all news stories will have a clickable icon by the headline which indicates WHO WROTE THE HEADLINES, which are notorious for headline-grabbing and having very little to do with the content of the piece. I don’t like it that these culprits can hide behind their anonymity.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      understood, newspapers like weird stories, but the internet allows for infinite, unedited space in which any yahoo, and a whole lot of conscious bad actors, can be putting out deliberately “sciencey” sounding nonsense and keeping a large audience in the dark indefinitely.

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